Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Guess the Plot
A Legacy of Ashes
1. When a neighborhood prankster sets fire to Bob's new Subaru station wagon, he becomes obsessed with revenge. Can the love of a good woman--and a new Toyota Highlander--prevent him from going on a killing rampage?
2. Her father was cremated. The letter about her biological mother was burned. Now if Ashlyn wants to learn anything about her family, she'll have to depend on her super power: the inexplicable ability to see the memories and feel the emotions of anyone in her presence. Will the ability prove to be a gift or a curse?
3. He was the most amazing man she ever knew: smart, strong, and sexy. But if Maribel bears the child of Satan, will he love her faithfully forever, or will he leave her only . . . A Legacy of Ashes?
4. Growing up, Sam Smith (aka Sham Shmith) was teased because of his speech impediment, caused by his freakishly long tongue. When Sam grew up, however, he discovered that women went crazy for his long tongue, and he could have, as he put it, "any peesh of ash I want."
5. Land developer Kate Bumbry-Mills, lowered her flame thrower on the fairy ring that caused her so much childhood angst and torched the rosies and posies to ashes and more ashes. Then she fell down and giggled.
6. When her beloved great-aunt Beulah dies, Holly Hollingsworth goes to the will reading with high expectations. But while her cousin Jarred gets the house, her sister gets the jewelry and her brother gets cash, Holly finds she's been given custody of Beulah's cremains. Now she's trying to discover what she did to deserve . . . A Legacy of Ashes.
Ashlyn knows how other people feel. Literally. An inexplicable gift has haunted her since birth, allowing her to feel hidden emotions and see private memories from anyone in her presence. [If it has haunted her since birth, I'm not sure I'd call it a gift.] Yet growing up with an unemployed single father is enough without carrying burdens for everyone else. [I can see how she'd be saddened by some burdens, but carrying burdens for people implies lightening their loads. And for everyone? If you feel the emotions of someone who's happy, are you carrying his burden?]
Her gift has always seemed more like a curse – [Mainly because every guy she goes near is remembering the best sex he ever had, and every woman she goes near is remembering the best shoes she ever had.] until she saves her uncle's life by pulling knowledge from his mind. [Ashlyn, I can't remember which drawer I keep my heart medication in, and which one I keep the Russel's viper in.] Now the gift is growing stronger and Ashlyn must learn to control it, even as her family pushes her to use it for their own gain. [Hey Ash, just as an experiment, can you scan that guy's memories for his VISA number?] In a very real world of poverty, pressure, and troubled parents, Ashlyn has to decide what she wants her future to be. Depression and anorexia push her down the wrong path. If Ashlyn can stop the cycle in time, she can rise above the broken legacy of her family.
A LEGACY OF ASHES is complete at 60,000 words and is available for review at your convenience. Many thanks for considering my work.
[PS: The novel is called A Legacy of Ashes because both of her parents get represented through ashes - her father is cremated, and a letter about her biological mother gets burned.]
Too much generality. What are the specifics on how Ashlyn saves her uncle's life? What, specifically, do her family members want her to do with her gift? What is this cycle she needs to rise above? What is the wrong path she is pushed down by depression and anorexia?
Can she focus her power on an individual, or is she constantly feeling everyone's emotions and memories? Can she turn off her power when she wants to? Has she really been seeing other people's memories since birth?
Is there a main plot thread, set when Ashlyn is a certain age? Or is it just things that happen to a character with an inexplicable gift over the course of her life? What will happen when her gift becomes really powerful and she learns to control it? Will she find peace at last? Become a superhero? Start a charity? What's her ultimate goal and what are the obstacles? That's your story.
You can't answer all these questions in one page, but answer them somewhere and decide which answers belong on the page.